Laurus nobilis, also known as bay laurel or sweet bay, is a small evergreen tree or shrub native to the Mediterranean region. It is commonly grown for its aromatic leaves, which are used as a culinary herb to add flavour to soups, stews, and other dishes. The leaves are dark green and glossy, with a slightly bitter and spicy taste. Bay laurel is also used for ornamental purposes, as it has a neat, dense habit and can be pruned into topiary shapes. The tree produces small yellow flowers in late winter to early spring, which are followed by small black or purple berries. Bay laurel is relatively easy to grow and prefers well-drained soil and full sun to partial shade. It is hardy to -5'C but can withstand lower temperatures in sheltered conditions and when planted in the ground.